ASK Commentary
August 26, 2002 

New Review of The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot

Breaking News for August 26, 2002 ó This review of The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot from the August 2002 issue of the MetroLutheran Review was written by the newspaperís editor Michael L. Sherer. Below is the text.

Headline: "Maybe Solomonís temple wasnít located where we always thought it was!"

Dateline: Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Temples that Jerusalem Forgot, Ernest L. Martin, 2000. 485 pages, softbound, $24.95.

These days visiting Jerusalem, the city of David and Solomon and three biblical temples, is unwise. Until the murderous showdown between Israelis and Palestinians subsides (and all of us pray it will), a journey to Jerusalem seems foolhardy.

Thatís a real pity. Christians, and Jews before them, have been making pilgrimage to Jerusalem for thousands of years. In ancient times, the magnet was one of three temples, the first of which was constructed by King Solomon, the third by King Herod. Each building was eventually destroyed, but the pilgrims kept coming, to see the site of the holy structure.

For centuries the popular wisdom has been that the three Jerusalem temples were located on the high platform where the Dome of the Rock was built. Now comes a scholar who makes a bold contrarian claim, Ernest Martin, a Scripture and history analyst, as well as an archeologist, believes there is convincing evidence that Solomon, and Herod after him, did not build their temples on the platform above the "wailing wall" (a zone which he believes was occupied in New Testament times by the encampment of the occupying Roman military).

Referencing Scripture, and also Josephus, a first-century Jew who witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and Herodís temple in AD 70, Martin argues that the temples were actually situated south of what tradition calls the "temple mount," in what is known as "The City of David."

Is Martin right about this? Readers will want to ponder his argument and draw their own conclusions. This reader found the logic compellingóespecially given Jesusí warning that not one stone of the temple would be left standing. (Martin says those stones surely included those of the wailing wall which still stands.)

What difference does any of this make? For one thing, if Martin is right, it means the Jews are fighting for control for the wrong chunk of real estate. They could begin rebuilding their temple now, on undisputed land in the City of David, south of the dome of the Rock. "

Slowly word is getting out about Dr. Martinís compelling book! This review accurately portrayed the issues and understood the full implications of Dr. Martinís Temple research.

A 2nd edition is undergoing editing by independent scholars and linguists. The purpose is to compress the original argument to add the new material now on ASK website [see the "Temples" section on the ASK homepage] written by Dr. Martin since the first edition was published in 2000.

All sources are being scrupulously re-checked, in the original languages. This is something Dr. Martin wanted done. Thus faróthe work is 2/3 completedóall of Dr. Martinís sources have not only been accurately reproduced word for word, but precisely understood in translation as the original authors intended. In other words, Dr. Martinís understanding of his sources are correct.

This is most gratifying to me as Editorial Director and a tribute to the depth of Dr. Martinís scholarship. It is hoped that a major publisher will be interested in this 2nd edition so a wider audience can appreciate the true location of the Jerusalem Temples and the world can solve at least one problem plaguing Jerusalem and the world. 

David Sielaff
david@askelm.com

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